Two Fish is a great indulgence, and you should drop your lure in the water and check these guys out.
Vancouver’s PinkBrown is part of the backing band for Dan Mangan's Blacksmith, but they’re venturing out onto their own as PinkBrown. Comprising members Kenton Loewen and Gordon Grdina, it’s hard to describe the originality of this outfit. Is it post-rock? Maybe. Is it jazzy? Certainly. Does it bring the bluesy rock? Sure. In fact, while listening to the first song on their five-track EP Two Fish, which is also something of a title track as it is named “Two Fish in a Bucket”, I heard a little of what seemed to be Radiohead, particularly around the band’s Hail to the Thief era. The band’s publicity compares the group to fellow Canadians Death from Above 1979, as PinkBrown is just guitar and drums. (But no vocals.) However, these guys have nothing on the DFA crew. They are very much their own altered beast. Mathy, and yet wholly accessible, Two Fish is simply amazing. It may not be original, but it feels original and as though it exists on its own plane. It’s rocky, jazzy and even psychedelic, particularly on final track “Barrel Fire”, which features a very Jimi Hendrix-like guitar workout that will stop you dead in your tracks.
The only quibble I have -- and it’s very, very, minor -- is that the nearly six-minute track “Gaza” is a bit of a slow burn and isn’t really quite like the other material, which is fast and breakneck. However, it’s still strong, and the use of a bowed guitar that sounds like a violin causes me to draw a line over to Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Yet, even though there are all of these reference points to other (great) bands, the Two Fish EP is really something. It feels new, and certainly is a garden path that not many groups have gone down in the past. It definitely whets the appetite for the debut LP, which is due in 2015. This is really outstanding stuff, and twists and turns in its own way. While this style of music might not be for everyone, it is yet not impenetrable. With some nods to metal, even, PinkBrown show diversity in their styles and are that rare breed that can take their influences, put it into a blender, and mash the purée button. The end result is a wholly digestible concoction and one that should, no doubt, earn these guys a devoted fanbase without Mangan’s help. Should these guys be content to take the spotlight on their own, and move away from being part of a backing group, their success is more than assured. Two Fish is a great indulgence, and you should drop your lure in the water and check these guys out.